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Any recommendations for a good fee-only advisor in Arizona?

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  • Any recommendations for a good fee-only advisor in Arizona?

    I really want to manage my own personal finances after reading a slew of the books recommended by WCI and some of you on this board. That said, I still have some questions which cause me to hesitate. Do I really know enough to NOT screw things up?


    I would like to find an advisor to work with on a limited basis make sure I have things in order and annually review/rebalance my retirement plan. I really don't want to pay an AUM, but have no experience with fee-only advisors. Any advice or rec's would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I don’t have experience with a specific good fee-only advisor in Arizona, but this should be a good starting point:


    • #3
      don`t get bound by the location. A lot of advisers works remotely now a days. You can schedule a  meeting online with them.

      WCI recommended advisors.



      • #4
        Finding the right fee (hourly) advisor is first priority imo, geography is a distant second.  Even fee only (hourly) advisors are going to want to go over a total financial plan so initially, expect an initial planning fee of between 15 and 20 hours with three to four hour long meetings/conversations.

        One potential area of confusion, an initial planning can be done and charged on an hourly basis.  In addition, there are alot of planners who will charge a flat fee for an initial financial plan (usually between 3k - 4k).  In the areana of flat fee financial plan, there are both excellent choices in planners and alot of folks who are using the planning service as a springboard to an AUM structure on an on-going basis.  Given what appears to be your desire to 'DIY', I would pay extra attention to potential flat fee folks because you will want someone who puts a plan together that is manageable for you to implement.  You don't want to pay for a 'flat fee' plan and find out realistically only by going to AUM can it be done, or the 'I'm a CFP that sells lots of whole life insurance' and the plan is structured around insurance/investing versus other areas that are of concern to you.


        • #5
          I’ve used Camden Financial in Scottsdale about 20 years ago to give me a startup plan. I thought they were very good.


          • #6
            A financial checkup might be what you want. We do them and I'm sure there are others out there who do, too. It's a limited term engagement to analyze your current plan and techniques and provide you with alternatives, observations, and recommendations. If you go that route, I'd ask the potential advisors you interview how much time it takes on their part. I can tell you that, from our experience, it takes about 30 hours of ours and 10 - 15 additional on the client's end. If the answer is 5 hours or something similar, that is not enough time to do a really thorough job, at least imho.

            At the same time, if you're more interested in paying hourly rather than a flat fee, you'll pay a lot less for someone who does a more compressed checkup. If hourly is what you want, check out the Garrett Planning Network. All members (I'm not a member) are hourly and fee-only.

            I'd recommend you find an advisor who is specifically focused on doctors. In the past, I didn't think this was so important. I've changed my mind after getting into this niche and believe, while not a deal-killer, it can be very beneficial. For example, a doctor-focused planner can talk to you about what is typical for other doctors based upon your specialty (dentist, in your case), location, and particular challenges.

            Be sure you choose a fee-only and not fee-based planner. Believe it or not, I talked to a student attending the NAPFA conference yesterday who didn't know there was a difference!

            Agree with others that the location is not really that important. The availability, quality of the work, and experience are much more relevant. (Of course, I have a vested interest in my opinion   )
            Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087


            • #7
              I would echo that geographic locale restriction isn't needed unless there's a specific, uncontrolled aversion to online/video conferencing or specific need for in-person Face-to-face dialog.

              You'll find a fair amount of Fee only advisers here and would suggest that you consider them with a proven understanding of the thrust of this forum is (which is considerably wide ranged in opinion too!!)




              • #8
                I'm based out of Scottsdale if you are in the Phoenix area and looking for someone to talk to locally.  I also think it's very doable to work with an advisor remotely and work with half of my clients that way.   Most fee-only advisors will do a limited scope review if that's what you are looking for.


                Best of luck